Hiring A Head of Compliance & MLRO for Global Trading Platform


Our client required a new Head of Compliance and MLRO for their German entity, requiring detailed knowledge of German and wider EU regulations. The candidate needed to be previously registered with BaFin, have German language skills and understand institutional and retail trading regulations. The client had started the search themselves and had reached the offer stage with three candidates – each of whom withdrew from the process after accepting and offer, one due to a change in circumstance and the other two to other offers they received during their notice period. With the length of notice periods for senior managers in Germany, candidates who have resigned have become targets for some companies to approach because they will be available quicker than most others in the market.


The direct work that the client had done themselves caused problems with this mandate. The role had been heavily advertised and candidates had been actively targeted by the client’s internal recruitment team. This meant that some of the market had been missed and some of the market, whilst approached directly had been done on the basis of promoting one role with one client. Due to our position in the market, we are able to offer candidates a “whole market” perspective for a position, even when we are working exclusively for a client due to our wider market exposure and knowledge. To overcome these obstacles, we needed to work with the client from first principles on the role description and person specification to make sure that any lessons that were available had been learned. We then carefully mapped and researched the market to ensure that viable candidates who had been overlooked or undersold were recovered and used of our own networks to find candidates previously uncontacted. This was a detailed and painstaking process, but we were able to identify a shortlist which included an exceptional candidate sourced from a referral.


The shortlist was delivered, and the client completed the recruitment process and was able to complete the hiring for this Head of Compliance & MLRO position. Success through this process was achieved by being realistic about what needed to be done, undertaking some detailed remedial work and then ultimately, some luck. We filled the role and helped the company, who were under significant pressure from BaFin to recruit for this role, to meet their regulatory obligations. The feedback on the hire and their wider value-add to the business has been excellent.